French Onion Soup

I take a little liberty with my “French” onion soup, adding parmesan cheese rather than the typical gruyere. I also call for more onions than most, to make sure that every spoonful has plenty of flavor and texture.


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2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
10–12 cups red onions, sliced thinly*
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons flour
8 cups beef stock*
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup brandy
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 1-inch thick slices French bread, toasted
3 cups Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated***
*For an accurate quantity, do not separate the slices into rings until after you measure them.**Use homemade beef stock for best flavor. If you use canned broth, try chicken broth, which has better flavor than canned beef broth. Keep in mind that canned broth is quite salty, so you may want to reduce the salt in the recipe.*** Swiss, Gruyere, and Asiago chesses are also good choices.
  1. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onions and salt and sauté for several minutes, then cover with a lid and cook 12–15 minutes, until the onions become translucent.
  3. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium, add the sugar and toss well. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are a deep golden brown—approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and stir to coat the onions evenly. Continue cooking for 2–3 minutes.
  5. Remove the onions from the heat and add the stock, wine, brandy, and pepper.
  6. Return to stove, turn the heat to medium-high, partially cover the soup with a lid and bring to a lively simmer. Continuing cooking for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and adjust the salt and pepper.
  8. Ladle the soup into individual, heat-resistant soup bowls and top with a toasted slice of French bread and the grated cheese.
  9. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts and turns pale golden brown. Serve immediately.



Preparation Time: 
Approximately 90 minutes.